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Android

Microsoft's SmartGlass For Android Reviewed 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has released their much anticipated SmartGlass application for Android, allowing the Linux-based mobile OS to act as an input device for their Xbox 360 game console. While the app has its share of annoying problems, it does offer a glimpse into a possible future where consumer electronics are no longer crippled by the artificial barriers of manufacturer or operating system."
GNU is Not Unix

Rare Photos: Gnu Crashing a Windows 8 Launch Event 313

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-call-attenborough dept.
New submitter Atticus Rex writes "Reporters and security guards at the Windows 8 launch event weren't sure how to react when they were greeted by a real, live gnu. The gnu — which, on closer inspection, was an activist in a gnu suit — had come for some early trick-or-treating. But instead of candy, she had free software for the eager journalists. The gnu and the Free Software Foundation campaigns team handed out dozens of copies of Trisquel, a fully free GNU/Linux distribution, along with press releases and stickers. Once they got over their confusion, the reporters were happy to see us and hear our message — that Windows 8 is a downgrade, not an upgrade, because it steals users' freedom, security and privacy."
Graphics

A Proposal To Fix the Full-Screen X11 Window Mess 358

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-run-windowed dept.
jones_supa writes "The SDL developers Ryan Gordon and Sam Lantinga have proposed a window manager change to work out the full-screen X11 window mess, primarily for games. The proposal is to come up with a _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN_EXCLUSIVE window manager hint that works out the shortcomings of the full-screen hint used currently by most games, _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN. Ryan and Sam have already worked out an initial patch for SDL but they haven't tried hooking it to any window manager yet. Those interested in the details, information is available from this mailing list message. One of the key changes is that software would make the request to the window manager to change the resolution, rather than tapping RandR or XVidMode directly. Martin Gräßlin of KDE was rather wary about the patch and said that games changing the resolution just tend to mess up the desktop." Seems like a reasonable idea, given a bit of time to mature as a spec. In KDE's case, a separate daemon from the window manager handles resolution changes so going through the WM would add complexity, and the plasma shell still has no way to realize that it shouldn't reflow the desktop widgets. Setting window properties seems like a sensible IPC method for communicating intent though (without making yet another aspect of the X desktop reliant upon the not-very-network-transparent dbus): "hey, I need to resize, but just for me so don't reshuffle the desktop and docks."
Bug

EXT4 Data Corruption Bug Hits Linux Kernel 249

Posted by Soulskill
from the plenty-of-time-to-fix dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An EXT4 file-system data corruption issue has reached the stable Linux kernel. The latest Linux 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 stable kernels have an EXT4 file-system bug described as an apparent serious progressive ext4 data corruption bug. Kernel developers have found and bisected the kernel issue but are still working on a proper fix for the stable Linux kernel. The EXT4 file-system can experience data loss if the file-system is remounted (or the system rebooted) too often."
GNOME

OpenGL Becoming a Requirement For the Linux Desktop 229

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the economic-stimulus-plan dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Modern Linux desktops like Ubuntu's Unity and the GNOME Shell have placed a requirement on OpenGL 2.0+ support for handling their compositing window managers and desktop effects. Wayland's Weston also needs OpenGL ES 2.0 support. Now with modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu 12.10, rather than falling back to a 2D unaccelerated desktop if you don't have a sufficient GPU or graphics driver, users are being forced to run LLVMpipe as a CPU-based software rasterizer. LLVMpipe works fine if you are on a new PC with a fast x86-64 CPU, but the OpenGL-based Linux desktops are causing growing pains for ARM hardware, virtual machines, servers, multi-seat computers, and of course all older hardware. LLVMpipe is a Mesa Gallium3D driver that uses LLVM for run-time code generation as an attempt at accelerating graphics faster on the CPU. So much for Linux being good for old computers?" The KMS based graphics stack is already effectively unusable on AGP systems (if you have SMP + AGP, there are race conditions somewhere leading to really hard crashes that appeared a couple of years ago and dozens of years old open bugs with no resolution other than "use PCI mode" which cuts bus bandwidth by 4 or 8 times, and still doesn't work with SMP), but for those with older PCIe/IGP systems you could always runs Window Maker, Sawfish, Enlightenment, Open Box, or one of many other window managers without a compositor. Of course then you lose compositing, and there aren't any usable external compositors for some reason. The flipside to this is that moving to OpenGL as the primary interface to the GPU means one fewer driver that has to be written, and will probably lead to an overall improved experience for those with supported hardware given the limited resources Free Software drivers authors have.
Open Source

ARM Code for Raspberry Pi Goes Open Source (Video) 91

Posted by Roblimo
from the more-open-than-ever-before dept.
"The Raspberry Pi project relies heavily on Open Source and Free Software — heck, it's targeted by more than one Linux distro. But some of the hardware stack that makes up the Pi itself needs closed-source code to run; the code that runs all kinds of low-level hardware is often closed source and closed off. I got wind from project instigator and lead Eben Upton that the system-on-a-chip at the Raspberry Pi's heart is about to get a lot more open. Says Upton: "We're about to open source all of the remaining closed source ARM code for the Pi. This will make BCM2835 the first ARM multimedia SoC with a fully-open-source ARM user and kernel implementation." I spoke for a few minutes with Alex Bradbury, who runs the Linux software work for the project, about licensing and what the new code means not only for Raspberry Pi but for users and other OS projects." (Note: the sound quality on this translantic Skype call is poor. We suggest reading the transcript.) Get the code while it's hot.
Games

Team Fortress 2 Beta Patch Adds Files Referring To Linux Support 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-speculation-commence dept.
New submitter spacenet writes "Valve has quietly released an update to the beta version of its popular online FPS Team Fortress 2. Among the modified files are some Linux-related files including a hardware driver compatibility list, optimal graphics settings, and a shell script launcher (previously only for OS X, now with a case for Linux as well). Valve has not updated their TF2 beta changelog, but has acknowledged the update in a forum post."
GUI

Wayland 1.0 Released, Not Yet Ready To Replace X11 455

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the adhd-induced-wheel-reinvention dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After being talked about for four years, Wayland 1.0 was released today. The Wayland 1.0 release doesn't mark it yet as being ready for Linux desktop usage but just being API/protocol stable for future expansion. Wayland will now maintain backwards compatibility going forward, but how much longer will it take to replace X11 on the Linux desktop? Quite a while seems likely."
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: Securing a Windows Laptop, For the Windows Newbie? 503

Posted by timothy
from the not-under-my-roof dept.
madsdyd writes "I am a long-time user of Linux (since 1997) and have not been using Windows since 1998. All PCs at home (mine, wife's, kids') run Linux. I work professionally as a software developer with Linux, but the Windows installs at my workplace are quite limited, so my current/working knowledge of Windows is almost nil. At home we have all been happy with this arrangement, and the kids have been using their Nintendos, PS2/3's and mobile phones up until now. However, my oldest kid (12) now wants to play World of Warcraft and League of Legends with his friends. I have spent more hours than I like to admit getting this to work with Wine, with limited success — seems to always fail at the last moment. I considered an Apple machine, but they seem to be quite expensive. So, I am going to bite the bullet, and install Windows 7 on a spare Lenovo T400 laptop, which I estimate will be able to run both Windows 7 and the games in question." Read on for more about the questions this raises, for someone who wants to ensure that a game-focused machine stays secure.
Open Source

Ubuntu Isn't Becoming Less Open, Says Shuttleworth 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the frantic-flamingo dept.
sfcrazy writes "While the larger Ubuntu community was busy downloading, installing and enjoying the latest edition of Ubuntu yesterday, a post by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth ruffled some feathers. He gave the impression that from now on only select members of the community will be involved in some development and it will be announced publicly only after completion. There was some criticism of this move, and Shuttleworth responded that they are actually opening up projects being developed internally by Canonical employees instead of closing currently open projects. He also made a new blog post clarifying his previous comments: 'What I offered to do, yesterday, spontaneously, is to invite members of the community in to the things we are working on as personal projects, before we are ready to share them. This would mean that there was even less of Ubuntu that was NOT shaped and polished by folk other than Canonical – a move that one would think would be well received. This would make Canonical even more transparent.'"
Software

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Out Now; Raring Ringtail In the Works 318

Posted by timothy
from the that-alphabet-song-really-gets-in-your-head dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The six month cycle that Canonical adheres to for Ubuntu releases has come around again today. Ubuntu 12.10 'Quantal Quetzal' has been released. There's a whole range of new features and updates, but here are the most important: WebApps — treats online services as if they are desktop apps (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook); Online Services — control logins to all your services from a single window and get them integrated into search results (e.g. GDocs for file searches); Dash Preview — right click any icon, get a detailed preview of what it is; Linux kernel 3.5.4; GNOME 3.6; Nautilus 3.4; latest Unity; No more Unity 2D, fallback is the Gallium llvmpipe software rasterizer; Default apps updated (Firefox 16.01, Thunderbird 16.01, LibreOffice 3.6.2, Totem, Shotwell, Rythmbox); Full disc encryption available during install; Single, 800MB distribution for all architectures." It's now available for download. The next version, due in six months' time, will be called Raring Ringtail.
Graphics

Trans-Atlantic 8K/UHDTV Streaming With UltraGrid and Commodity PCs 58

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-push-media dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During the 12th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop in Chicago, researchers have demonstrated interactive multi-point streaming of 8K/UHDTV (i.e., 16x Full HD resolution) using commodity PC hardware running Linux and open-source UltraGrid software. The transmissions featured GPU-accelerated JPEG and DXT compressions implemented using the NVIDIA CUDA platform, which are also available as open-source software. The streams were distributed from the source to one location in the USA and to another location in the Czech Republic over 10Gbps GLIF network infrastructure."
Data Storage

Reiser4 File System Still In Development 317

Posted by timothy
from the despite-it-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Reiser4 still hasn't been merged into the mainline Linux kernel, but it's still being worked on by a small group of developers following Hans Reiser being convicted for murdering his wife. Reiser4 was updated in September on SourceForge to work with the Linux 3.5 kernel and has been benchmarked against EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and ReiserFS. Reiser4 loses out in most of the Linux file-system performance tests, has much stigma due to Hans Reiser, and Btrfs is surpassing it feature-wise, so does it have any future in Linux ahead?"

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